Russia v Egypt Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

June 15, 2018

- Grant Whittington

Saint Petersburg Stadium - World Cup Group A

World Cup hosts Russia face Egypt on a high after routing Saudi Arabia in the tournament’s opening game, but will Mohamed Salah get the call?

Past Meetings

This will be the first senior international meeting between the countries.

Team News

The big question is in the Egpyt camp - will Liverpool star Salah feature? An unused substitute in the late defeat to Uruguay, Salah’s chances of playing in that game were pushed hard by Egypt coach Hector Cuper, only for the forward to be left on the bench.

Russia, meanwhile, could be forgiven for leaving well alone after hammering the Saudis. There’ll be at least one change as Alan Dzagoev looks like missing the rest of the tournament after injuring his hamstring in the first half on Thursday. Denis Cheryshev, who replaced the CSKA Moscow midfielder and scored twice, should start in his place.

Russia v Egypt Preview and Predictions

Stanislav Cherchesov will know as well as anyone that Russia’s true level can’t be assessed based on their performance against Saudi Arabia. Egypt will indeed provide a much sterner test, defensively at least, and the coach will hope to have six points but a minimum of four by the time his side face Uruguay.

Egypt were competitive against Uruguay, but that perhaps says more about the disappointing display from the South Americans as anything else. Cuper’s side defended well but lacked much spark in attack - understandably so without talisman Salah. But if Salah’s fitness can’t be guaranteed ahead of their second fixture, the onus is on the experienced trainer to find an alternative.

Russia are 13/10 favourites for the victory that would guarantee qualification from the group stage, with the draw around 9/4 and an Egypt win at 13/5. Those odds could change if Salah is confirmed to start before kick-off but for as long as a question mark hangs over his head, Egypt’s chances will be diminished.

Another five-goal hammering looks unlikely - Egypt were too well-drilled for that, but a narrow defeat isn’t hard to imagine. A 1-0 Russia win is 6/1 and with the giant Artem Dzyuba a threat from crosses and set-pieces, his 2/1 to score anytime catches the eye.

Recommended Bets

Russia to win to nil at 28/11

Even if Salah does play, he’ll only be so fit after barely training since the Champions League final a month ago. And with him goes Egypt’s chances of scoring.

Under 1.5 goals at 2/1

Russia won’t put five goals past many teams for the rest of the tournament - indeed, they could struggle against a sturdy defence. Egypt don’t have the best defenders in the World Cup, but they’ll be among the most numerous.

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